Climate change impacts must be a key element of conflict prevention policies [fr]

Climate and Security risks: the latest data
What can the UN do to prevent climate-related conflicts and how can we climate-proof UN in-country activities?
Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Meeting of the Security Council in Arria formula – 22 April 2020

As the COVID19 pandemic, climate change knows no borders.

The security consequences of climate change are a challenge to our collective peace and security.

To face and address to this challenge, we need the United Nations.

The UN has both the legitimacy and the experience to guide us and make us work together.

What to do from now on? I would limit myself to three recommendations:

First, we have to anticipate. We already see how climate change impacts have heightened conflicts in the Middle East and in the Sahel region. Let’s not wait for the next region to go into conflict. Let’s make climate change impacts a key element of our conflict prevention policies.

We must act right now and put in place appropriate responses that are already present, but also to threats that are less immediate, but which could have devastating consequences in 10 or 20 years. The Artic region is a good example of such situation.

Number two, in order to do so, what we need to do, and that will be my second recommendation, is to enhance the capacities at the UN level.

The mechanism on climate and security has already contributed to strengthen the capacity of the United Nations system.

We want now the Secretary-General to present every two years to the General Assembly and the Security Council a broad report, based on solid data that would assess, for each region of the world, the risks to peace and security posed by climate change impact, and would make action-oriented recommendations to prevent those risks.

We also propose that the Secretary-General would appoint a Special Envoy in charge of climate and security in order to better coordinate the action of the UN and its agencies on this issue.

Finally, we must act now.

The impact of climate change on international security is not a problem of the future but already of today.

We need to act now, with a resolution that would give the Secretary-General a clear mandate to present this report and view to fully incorporate climate changes impacts into the United Nations conflict-prevention policy.

Dear colleagues,

Faced with these certain risks, we cannot take refuge in denial or misinformation.

France is committed to working tirelessly with all of you to bring this goal to life in the coming months.

Thank you.

Dernière modification : 22/04/2020

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